Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Not upheld.
A TV ad for cider, which was set in a British summer fete, featured a man bungee jumping from a crane to participate in an apple-bobbing competition. He successfully bobbed for an apple and while holding onto the barrel, another man approached and said "It's good ..." and plunged his arm into the barrel and pulled out a bottle of cider and said "... but it's not quite Carling." The man on the bungee then sprang back up into the air. The end of the ad featured a pack shot and voice-over which said, "New Carling British cider. Refreshingly perfect."
1. A viewer challenged whether the claim "Carling British cider" was misleading and could be substantiated because they believed the cider was not made from British apples.
2. The ASA challenged whether the ad linked alcohol with daring behaviour.
1. Moors Colson Brewing Company (UK) Ltd t/a Carling said that under legislation, the country of origin of foods was deemed to be the place of last substantial change. They referred to section 36 of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 which stated "… goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change".
Carling said that Carling British Cider (CBC) was developed by Bevisol Ltd, based in Herefordshire, who had expertise in producing cider. Carling explained that Bevisol used British cider making techniques when producing CBC and the finished product was then transported to Carling in Burton for bottling. They said CBC was produced using British experts in Britain, which was more than what was required under regulations governing the origin of foods in the UK.
Carling said that while CBC did not need to contain any British apples to be deemed "British", they confirmed that it did contain some British apples, although the amount varied between batches made. They did not believe their claim was misleading.
Clearcast understood from Carling that under food labelling laws, the origins of goods were the places that the last substantial change to the product happened. They noted that in this case this was Herefordshire. The product was also packaged in Britain. As such, they concluded that since the product was produced in Britain and did contain some British apples, the claim "Carling British Cider" had been substantiated and was not misleading.
2. Carling said they worked closely with Clearcast to ensure the ad did not link alcohol to daring behaviour and made changes following suggestions from Clearcast. The ad did not show the bungee jumper consuming alcohol, either before or after he had jumped. No bottles of cider were shown in the barrel; only apples were shown as part of the bungee jump to "bob" for apples. They did not believe the daring act of a bungee jump was linked to alcohol or its consumption. In addition, they noted the consumption of alcohol had not caused the man to bungee jump nor was alcohol given as a reward. They did not believe the ad breached the Code on that point.
Clearcast said that at no point in the ad was the bungee jumper seen consuming or handling alcohol. Additionally, there was no implication that he had decided to do the bungee jump because he had drunk alcoholic beforehand to gather the courage to do the jump. They also pointed out that even after he had successfully completed the bungee jump, he was not rewarded with alcohol. As such, they cleared the ad for broadcast.
1. Not upheld
The ASA considered whether or not the ad misleadingly implied that CBC was made using 100% British apples. We noted Carling's explanation that CBC satisfied the food labelling regulations and as such, "British" could be legitimately used to describe CBC's country of origin. We acknowledged the product was produced in the UK using British cider making techniques and was bottled in the UK. While the complainant believed the ad implied all apples used to produce CBC were British, the ad made no such claim and we noted that CBC was in fact made with some British apples. While the ad featured a typical British summer fete, we considered it did not create the impression that only British apples were used to make CBC. We therefore concluded the claim "Carling British cider" had been substantiated and was not misleading.
On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) and 3.9 3.9 Broadcasters must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that the audience is likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation) but did not find it in breach.
2. Not upheld
We considered that a bungee jump was an act which required a degree of courage to perform and could have potentially serious consequences if something went wrong. However, we acknowledged that the bungee jumper was not shown consuming alcohol at any point, and his reason for jumping was to bob for an apple rather than to obtain the bottle of cider. We considered the situation shown was comical and fantastical and there was no link between alcohol and daring behaviour.
On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 19.5 19.5 Advertisements must not link alcohol with daring, toughness, aggression or unruly, irresponsible or antisocial behaviour. (Alcohol) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.